On April 25, 2022, Google and Crunchyroll, the world’s leading anime and manga streaming service, announced a new, multi-year strategic partnership to accelerate and support Crunchyroll’s anime-related ambitions on a global scale. This announcement came at the same time as Google unveiled improved CDN media streaming tools, which Crunchyroll will apparently include.
This alliance builds on Google’s existing partnership and partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment for Android, Google TV, Android TV OS, YouTube, Google Advertising Solutions and Google Cloud.
Crunchyroll is currently owned by Sony (operated independently as a joint venture of subsidiaries Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan’s Aniplex). Crunchyroll’s goal is to grow its direct-to-consumer business globally and enhance the overall experience of their audience with Google.
Crunchyroll CFO Travis Page commented: “Crunchyroll is committed to partnering with technology partners who understand our fans’ DNA – how they engage, how they enjoy and how they live and breathe anime. Having a partner like Google, who knowing how to use technology to improve interaction with users is critical to providing our fans with the purpose-built experience they need, and Google brings expertise to the table that directly helps us achieve those ambitions.”
Anime kept viewers out of the 2021 pandemic
In recent years, anime viewership has hit record highs, making Crunchyroll the go-to streaming service for anime otaku. The animes Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, and Attack on Titan are now widely recognized with over 40,000 episodes and millions of fans in more than 200 countries and territories.
Google Inc and Google Cloud listed in the official press release that their partnership with Crunchyroll would focus on the following:
- Improve the viewer experience with content personalization: Google Cloud will empower Crunchyroll to better engage and engage audiences, building on established technology and privacy-first content personalization powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies.
- Informing product and content innovation: By leveraging Google Cloud’s expertise in data management and analytics, AI, and ML, Crunchyroll can better use customer and user insights to inform the development of new fan experiences and future developments.
- Reach audiences around the world: Crunchyroll will be able to achieve wide distribution of its content and subscription services with Google Play on Android, Google TV and other Android TV OS devices.
- Connect fans to content and fuel growth: Google’s ad solutions allow Crunchyroll to continue to provide fans with a unique ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) experience, with more than 1,000 episodes for fans to sample. This will increase reach, bring key audiences together and grow the platform with a seamless advertising experience.
A wind of change is blowing for the anime community
Thomas Overton, Crunchyroll’s Chief Technology Officer, commented: “As our longtime anime businesses come together worldwide under the Crunchyroll brand, this partnership helps optimize our service as we integrate some of Google’s best solutions to diversify our platform capabilities and enhance the to enrich the fan. experience.”
Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud, continued: “Crunchyroll continues to meet the growing demand for anime by delivering transformative and entertaining streaming experiences to audiences around the world. We are excited to partner with Crunchyroll for Google Cloud, Android and Google advertising solutions to help the company deepen subscriber relationships and increase the efficiency of its operations.”
Crunchyroll connects otaku from over 200 countries to the anime and manga content they love. Otaku can watch ad-supported anime for free (this is where Google ad tools come into play) or via subscription to access premium content like simulcasts – top anime episodes available right after the Japanese broadcast.